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Wednesday 10 June 2020

Want to reduce your energy bills? Upgrade your home for greater comfort in winter and summer? Find ways to store more water for the garden?

Retrofitting homes in our shire is one of the ambitions of a new a project coordinated by Mount Alexander Sustainability Group (MASG) and Mount Alexander Shire Council. The project aims to co-design a masterplan with the community to reduce the shire’s carbon emissions to zero and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

As a very first step, the project is seeking answers from residents through an online survey about how people currently use their homes, so that data can inform a baseline assessment of the Shire’s carbon and water footprint.

Terry White from MASG said the team aims to have more than 700 households participate in the survey.

“This information will provide incredibly useful localised baseline data from our community and we’d love to see every household get involved,” said Mr White.

“It’s important that we hear not only from those people who have made changes to their homes to improve efficiency, but also those who have not,” he said.

“We really want a representative sample of our community so we can get a good understanding of our overall emissions.”

The survey is part of the Z-NET (zero-net emissions) Project, which will be developed throughout 2020 and 2021.

The project’s first data collection phase is jointly funded by Council and a Sustainability Victoria grant under the Zero Carbon Community Transition Program. A community steering group has been established to guide the program in this first phase.

“Hepburn Shire ran a very successful program last year and we’re using a similar approach to understand how as a community we can work together to reduce our carbon emissions and adapt to climate change,” said Cr Bronwen Machin, steering group member.

“We’ll be talking more with the community about this project over the coming months including seeking ideas about what we can do collectively,” she said.

“There are many fantastic ideas in our community and projects underway around the world that we’ll be looking to for inspiration, including those presented at Council’s Climate Change Forum last December.”

Survey is open until December. Find it on Council’s website at www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/HaveYourSay.

In 2019 Council declared a climate emergency recognising that urgent action is needed to address the current and future impacts of climate change on the health, economy and wellbeing of the local community and its environment.

Image: Households in the shire are urged to complete the online survey, which includes questions like electricity sources, water use and more.

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